1 min read

Editor's blog Tuesday 8 March 2011: Things That Will Not Be The Health Secretary's Problem In The Near Future, Part One

Today's health questions in the House Of Commons was not exactly a riot of answered questions and enlightened debate and discussion.

Plus ca change ... But one exchange seems to be worth quoting:

Mark Lancaster (Milton Keynes North) (Con): "The Secretary of State has visited Milton Keynes, so he will be well aware of the historical problems at the maternity unit there and, following the intervention of his Department, of the positive outcomes that have been achieved with one-to-one supervision for all mothers. I am convinced that the increased training of midwives has contributed to those outcomes, but may I press him to reassure the House that that level of training will continue?"

Mr Lansley: "Yes, I am very grateful to my hon. Friend and I share his wish for continuing improvement in the maternity services at Milton Keynes hospital. I can tell him and the House that we are delivering on our commitment to improve maternity services, which is at the heart of that wish. The number of midwifery training places commissioned for next year—2011-12—will be no less than this year, sustaining a record number of midwives in training. That will be on top of an increase between May and November 2010—after the coalition Government came in—of 296 additional midwives employed in the NHS."

The future version of this exchange
Translated into layman's English, in two years' time if NHS reform goes according to plan,  this exchange will read,

Local MP: "Can you make sure this service isn't shit - throw your weight about, lob a Nokia, do something?"

Secretary Of State For Health: "No chance, guv. Nothing to do with me. Not my problem. More than my job's worth. Ask your GP commissioning consortium, and if you don't like the answer, appeal to the Board. What do you mean, you didn't vote for them?"